by Pei-Wen Wang
To encourage the public to put their creativity into practice and to facilitate the listing of works with competitiveness in the market, the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) under the Ministry of Labor (MOL) has organized two Makers Challenge Competitions so far. You may wonder what happens to the teams winning the competition, and here is what they have been up to after the game.
Spherical motion launched to space for trial with SpaceX in June
In 2019, the third-generation spherical motors by Spherical Motion won the Best Creativity Award in the second Makers Challenge Competition. The project stood out, for it broke the single-dimensional design often seen in traditional motors. Spherical motors show great creativity and commitments of Makers in putting their ideas in applications. It is promising that the motor design can be used in robotic arms and satellite attitude control in the future. It costs NT$3 million to launch a 1-kg satellite into space, so it is a goal to reduce weight and power consumption so that the satellite can operate with optimal efficiency in missions.
The winning team at that time has now become Tensor Tech Co., Ltd., a startup founded by four 21-year-old young entrepreneurs. The spherical motors they produce are designed to make microsatellites lighter and make them operate with better efficiency. It is expected that in June, Tensor Tech will be launching SpaceX rockets, with partners from SpaceX and SatRevolution, a Polish satellite company, for another space test for their motors.
If scaled with the technology readiness level (TRL), a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of space technology, based on a scale from 1 to 9, with 9 being the most mature technology, the spherical motors by Tensor Tech are rated 7 as it completes prototype field testing where a space environment that include vibration, radiation, and thermal vacuum is simulated. If going to space in June successfully, it can reach an 8, and even 9 if it stays in operation in space for three years.
GOGO Furniture- You can rent your house, but not your lifestyle
The Best Potential Business Award in the first Makers Challenge Competition went to GOGO Furniture, for the brand features furniture that can be disassembled and assembled solely by one person, which is convenient for people today who are preparing to move. The high integrity of the products possesses great potential to enter the market. GOGO Furniture was founded in 2016 by three female entrepreneurs. As there are challenges in starting their own business, there are certain things where they have to reach a compromise with reality. Yet, against all odds, the three of them refused to give in to setbacks and got back on their feet in no time by formulating a comprehensive implementation model and working hard to identify the advantages and disadvantages of their brand. From 2017 to 2019, they won six awards and brought the brand onto the track with recognitions from other players in the market.
The teams that have participated in Makers Challenge Competition all started out with competitions as stepping stones onto starting their own businesses, where the real work begins. It is hoped that regardless of any difficulties, these winning teams can still hold on to the reason and passion for which they start their work in the first place and can eventually achieve goals they have in mind.